Thursday, December 16, 2004


Ice Wars: The Players Strike Back!

Now that the NHL has rejected the NHLPA's offer like a beautiful girl rejects my advances, the bourgeoisie have begun to throw in their two hundred dollars into the fray.

Tie Domi, long one of hockey’s biggest hypocrites and whiners, feels personally insulted that the NHL didn’t take the bait.

"The players are really insulted, especially the star players like (Sergei) Fedorov, (Martin) Brodeur and (Mats) Sundin," the Toronto Maple Leafs winger said Wednesday. "These are the guys who are supposed to sell the game.

"It's a real slap in the face for these guys especially. They're really upset about it. They may not say that on camera, but they're really insulted, just like everybody else."

Well, Tie, we feel quite insulted when a rich overpaid baby such as yourself decides to whine about not being able to afford a new Porsche Spider. I feel quite insulted that you can make $2million a year with fairly minimal hockey skills (as far as NHLers go).

And, for the record, if the players are supposed to sell the game (and they really aren’t), then they are doing a lousy lousy job, and ought to take a pay cut.

On the other side, Patrick Roy feels that the weaker teams need a salary cap:

"The owners had every reason to turn down the players' offer," Patrick Roy told Le Journal de Montreal. "The Players' Association's proposal's only goal was to win popular favour."

"The ten teams with the weakest revenues must not forget about the salary cap. Adoption of a cap means survival for the teams in trouble."

It’s funny to hear these comments from a guy who spent a large part of his career in a free spending organization. Would Patty feel the same way if he was still playing? It’s easy to say these things once you have collected your millions. Why should Roy care about the players after him?

In Russia, there is labour unrest of another sort as the players of Molot Perm have apparently gone on strike for a week. From this and report, it appears that the players haven’t been paid for 3 months.

Now forgive me for my rough translation (which is why I don’t do more of them), but it appears that the players will be on strike from December 15th to 22nd and will not practice or take part in a match against Nizhnekamsk. The players apparently haven’t been paid in the last 3 months, and they want the Russian Hockey Federation to step in on their behalf.

This reminds me of the former Czech Extraleague (and now struggling 1st division) club Havirov Panthers. The management and owners were notorious for their ‘money problems’, which really meant squirreling away sponsorship dollars for their own uses. The players complained publicly about missing paycheques, and eventually were just sold to the highest bidding competing club. Havirov had some good talent, but they didn’t use the money to keep the players around. Now they barely draw 600 fans to their 1st Division games, after drawing over 2,000+ a game in the Extraleague. According to defenseman Miroslav Javin, who knows plays with the Slovak club Poprad, many of the players, to this day, have still never received some of the pay that they were supposed to.

If the NHLPA member ever think that Europe is a great bastion of money, just be wary that guaranteed contracts and job security mean very little in European hockey.

Other than that, there is very little news from Europe as the leagues are in another break while the countries compete in little International tournaments. The Slovaks beat some Canadian rejects 4-2 in the Loto Cup, with Marian Hossa scoring a hat-trick. also named Marian Hossa ‘Player of the Month’ for November. Between Dukla Trencin and Mora IK, Hossa averaged a goal-a-game pace and has helped lift Mora IK into a playoff spot in their first season in the top league.

Back in Canada, Team Canada has started to make its cuts to the roster for the World Junior Championships team. Devan Dubnyk, the clumsy oaf of a goalie whom I’ve panned over the past year, was among one of those cut (and I’m thankful). Coach Sutter has elected to cut all of the players at once, which is the way it really should be. The long drawn out process probably just creates more problems and nervousness than it is worth. It’s a good idea to take who you want and work with them for a longer period.

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